Sunday, 16 August 2009

The UK's tiny modern houses...

I thought all the international visitors to my blog (and maybe a few UK ones!) might like to read this BBC article, "Room to Swing a Cat? Hardly?" The link to CABE is also worth looking at - the BBC article is based on their research.

Visitors to the Landscape on Kimono exhibition often ask where I keep my collection. It is in stacked storage boxes in my 10ft 4in x 13ft 11in (3m x 4.25)living room. The kitchen diner is 19ft 11in x 8ft (4.8m x 2.4 m). Before converting the garage to make a new workroom last year, that was all the downstairs space apart from a tiny lobby - no hall, the stairs go up out of the living room, so the living room functions like a wider version of a hall in many houses. Even if I did not have bookcases all round the living room, it would still be very difficult to fit in a typical 3 piece suite and TV (I don't have either). The double doors that link the living room to the kitchen diner mean the ground floor is virtually open plan. The stairs turn through 180 degrees. There are 3 bedrooms - the largest is 10ft 4in x 10ft 4in, the smallest 10ft x 8ft. The middle bedroom used to be my workroom and the new workroom (the old garage) is approx. 8ft 2in x 16ft 4in. There is almost no built in storage space - nowhere at all to put an upright vacuum cleaner (the understairs cupboard that appeared on the sales plan turned out only to be worktop height rather than walk-in) and the airing cupboard is so badly designed that it is almost impossible to use effectively - one inaccessible high shelf.

I worked out the average size of a room in this house against the national average for new builds mentioned in the BBC article, and the average size of a room in my house is merely 2/3 approx. of the national average. Thank you very much Planning Department for passing this house design! Including the two outbuildings (shed & summerhouse), my two bedroom cottage had 68.9 square metres floor space. I moved the summerhouse but it never got rebuilt here and I had to sell it (neighbour thought he had bought the view over my garden as well as his own house, and I didn't want to fall out over it). Before the garage conversion, this house had only 60.77. No wonder my stuff doesn't fit. CABE have recommended that houses be sold on floor area, rather than number of bedrooms, as a size guide.

New houses being built a mile away are even smaller! Check these out - at Mytton Homes (£129.950- $207,920 US) the Laurel and (£134.950 - $215,920 US) the Beech.

One day, I want a two storey extension on the back...

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